Is your hospital resilient?

Posted 25 February 2015 12:00 AM by Evan Bane

The old adage is:  It’s not a matter of if, but when. When it comes to natural disasters, one service a community cannot do without is a hospital. It’s one thing to plow through a “Snowmegeddon” blizzard. And it’s quite another to be able to continue operations or recover quickly after hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

A recent article in Health Facilities Management magazine points to the new “disaster ready” mindset driving hospital design. One example: Sacrificing the first floor of the building and moving critical treatment and service spaces to higher floors to weather storm surges and flooding. Such thinking delivers a potential win-win:  Continuing operations during the disaster, and uninterrupted service during recovery and reconstruction. “You could gut the first floor entirely and still run the hospital,” says Phil Wendling of Hammes Co.

Then there’s the shake, rattle and roll of seismic events. Owensboro Regional Hospital in Kentucky incorporated JointMaster® 601 Stealth™ expansion joints on its exterior and other JointMaster seismic joint systems throughout the facility. Reason:  The hospital is situated close to the New Madrid (Mo.) and Wabash Valley seismic zones. 


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